Qualcomm scales back MEMS-based Mirasol display venture

July 25, 2012 — Wireless technology provider Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM) will scale back its mirasol display technology, which uses interferometric modulation (IMOD); a micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based technology capable of creating color from ambient reflected light. The technology offers low power consumption and is used in several e-reader products on the market.

During Qualcomm’s Q2 results investor conference call, Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm said they will scale Mirasol back into a limited set of products, and will look to license it to industry partners. Qualcomm “will directly commercialize only certain Mirasol products,” Jacobs said.

Mirasol displays took the silver award for Display of the Year at the Society for Information Display’s (SID’s) Display Week Awards in 2012.

Jacobs did not elaborate in the investor conference call as to why Mirasol is being limited and licensed out. However, QCOM did recently restructure its organization, moving substantially all of its R&D activities, its QCT semiconductor business, and other product and services businesses into a new wholly owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies Inc. (QTI).

In January 2011, Qualcomm MEMS Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, worked with Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to expand the manufacturing capacity of mirasol displays in Taiwan, building a fabrication facility in Longtan. The aim was to have the MEMS facility operational in 2012, with a US$975 million initial investment by Qualcomm.

Learn more about mirasol displays at http://www.mirasoldisplays.com.

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